After a challenging experience with their son’s mental wellbeing, Malcolm and Jacqui understood first-hand the importance of accessible and in-the-moment mental health support.
Malcolm, a Principal Consultant at Heidrick & Struggles in London, chose to support Shout by nominating us to become the beneficiary of his company’s Global Day of Service 2023. After a staff presentation and vote, the team got behind our free, confidential and 24/7 text support service.
What is the H&S Global Day of Service?
Heidrick & Struggles International Incorporated is one of the largest international executive search, interim and management consulting companies, with offices around the world.
Every year, the company holds a Global Day of Service where each office carries out an activity to raise funds for their charity of choice. The London office decided on a sponsored walk and raffle.
Why was Shout the chosen charity for 2023?
Malcolm told his story in his staff presentation, sharing that back in 2019, his son went through some very difficult mental health issues and while the immediate NHS emergency care he required was great, the support his son needed afterwards wasn’t widely accessible.
Soon after, Jacqui saw an article in the Sunday Times about Shout. Motivated by their son’s mental health struggles and recovery, she completed the training process to become a Shout Volunteer four years ago and now does two shifts a week.
Shout is a vital service for people who may be lonely, desperate and suicidal when regular support services may be shut. They desperately need more funding to train more volunteers and expand the scope of its work for texters who make contact when they are struggling to cope.
How did you prepare for the fundraising day?
After winning the staff vote, H&S set a fundraising target of £6,000. They created a JustGiving page and sent an email to all staff explaining the background and service offered by Shout.
To encourage staff to donate, the email talked about the great prizes in the raffle, which had all been offered up by staff. The way to be entered into the draw was through donating and the fundraising target was communicated to everyone.
Shout was great at helping us prepare for the event by engaging swiftly and effectively. They went the extra mile providing baseball caps, links to digital resources and a personal thank you video for staff.
As the day got nearer, follow up emails were sent saying how close to our target we were. It was great to see that on the morning of the walk, the office had passed that target.
What were the event highlights?
The day of the walk was a bright sunny day and over 80 people took part. Heidrick’s organisers had planned a two hour walk around London through parks and alongside London Zoo.
During the walk, fun group photos were taken which were then shared later with the office team. Everyone was wearing their Shout baseball caps and had a most enjoyable and relaxed time. It was a great opportunity for the London team to be together and get to know colleagues more.
It was enlightening to see how many experiences were talked about during the walk, with staff explaining how they had been personally involved in mental health issues and why they had voted for Shout.
The walk ended back at the office where drinks and boxes of pizza were waiting. This was another great opportunity for staff to socialise and enjoy the day. The raffle began after lunch, with a lovely blend of superb and funny prizes from a personal chef experience to a jar of Marmite!
Lots of fun and laughter were had, strengthening the team further. At the end it was announced the office had hit 107% of their target which was a superb result. People left the office in high spirits and certainly knowing more about the mental health support crisis in this country and how Shout can help play its part in supporting texters.
What advice would you give to other businesses or organisations looking to fundraise for Shout?
- Try and link it to a personal story if possible
- Recognise you need to do more about educating people about what Shout is as it is not as well known yet as the bigger and longer established charities.
- Emphasise the point that Shout is there when many other support services are closed
- Give Shout as much notice of your event as possible so they can fully support you
- Link it to other initiatives you may be doing around mental health in your organisation
- Set a fundraising target
- Make the event itself as fun as possible
- Link donating to something like a raffle
It is great that the London office staff decided to support Shout this year and my wife, Jacqui, who has been a Shout Volunteer since 2019, is delighted with how it went.
The £6,400 raised for Shout and the bonding of team members over their experiences of mental health were only made possible by the support of Malcolm and Jacqui.
If, like the incredible team at H&S London, you and your organisation would like to fundraise for Shout reach out to us at [email protected] or take a look at how you could support mental health in your workplace.